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Close up of Audubon Native Compass Plant, Large bright yellow showy flower with veiny dark green foliage
Close up of Audubon Native Compass Plant, showy bright yellow flowers beginning to bloom on a pale green fuzzy stem
Audubon Native Compass Plant Perennial Flower
Audubon Native Compass Plant Perennial product shot
Native Regions map for Compass Plant
Close up of Audubon Native Compass Plant, Large bright yellow showy flower with veiny dark green foliage
Close up of Audubon Native Compass Plant, showy bright yellow flowers beginning to bloom on a pale green fuzzy stem
Audubon Native Compass Plant Perennial Flower
Audubon Native Compass Plant Perennial product shot
Native Regions map for Compass Plant



  • Tall stalks bloom masses of bright yellow flowers late spring through fall
  • Add cheer to cut flower arrangements or bouquets
  • Shiny green foliage perfect accents the sunny blooms
  • The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow.
  • This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
  • All Audubon® branded trees and plants are grown 100% Neonic-free by Bower & Branch, making these plants safer for the birds and safer for the environment.
  • Hand Selected, Fresh from the Grower
  • Ships in a plant-safe designed box

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Mature Height: 5-9' tall
  • Mature Width: 2-3' wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Spacing: 2-3' apart

Audubon® Native Compass Plant

Bower & Branch Trees and Plants

Audubon® Plants for Birds: Silphium laciniatum

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Why plant Audubon® Native Compass Plant?

A big, bold, bountiful beauty for butterflies, bees, and birds! Compass Plant is a towering, Sunflower-like Spirit that will cause a stir in your wildlife-friendly beds and borders. Monarchs and swallowtail butterflies will visit the cheery yellow Daisy-like flowers in midsummer, when they open on their tall stalks. So will bumblebees, miner bees, leaf-cutting bees, and many other buzzing things looking for sustenance. Eastern Kingbirds have been known to perch on the stems, on the lookout for insects to eat, and Goldfinches come by in fall and winter to gather the seeds that have formed. Magnificent!

Compass Plant gets its name from a curious habit it has of orienting its leaves in a north-south direction. On the treeless tallgrass prairies of our nation’s midsection, where this plant is native, sunlight is intense—too intense, in some cases, for plants to photosynthesize efficiently. Therefore, Compass Plant moves its large, scratchy leaves so that the sun hits them at the optimal angle. This plant is also remarkable in its longevity. It can survive for 100 years, due largely to its immense taproot, which can descend as deep as 10 or 15 feet in loamy soil.

How to use Audubon® Native Compass Plant in the landscape?

Another name for Compass Plant is Rosin Weed, for the sticky substance found inside the stems. Native American kids used to scrape off this rosin and use it as chewing gum. You can try it, too—just don’t expect it to taste like Juicy Fruit! (It tastes more like Pine Tree.

Why Bower & Branch?

We do the hard part. Our trees and plants are grown and cared for by only the best, local growers for years before they find their forever home in your landscape. Bower & Branch is known for having hard-to-find, substantial sizes and selection. The quality of our trees and plants are consistent in health and vigor—always ready for immediate impact in your garden and instant curb appeal. We believe in empowering homeowners with the truth about strong, healthy and structurally sound plants that are grown to perform in the ground after they leave the nursery for home delivery, always fresh inventory from the grower.

Audubon is devoted to protecting birds and the places they need, while Bower & Branch is devoted to the growth of true native trees and plants–no cultivars or hybrids. Together, we strive to unite communities in conservation and inspire individuals to cultivate a better world for birds starting in their own backyards, balconies, or patios. By guiding and recommending trees and plants truly native and beneficial to your region, we can really start to make a difference.

What is the definition of Native?

“In the United States, a native plant is defined as one that was naturally found in a particular area before European colonization. Native plants are the foundation of a region’s biodiversity, providing essential food sources and shelter for birds, especially those threatened by the changing climate. Since native plants are adapted to local precipitation and soil conditions, they generally require less upkeep, therefore helping the environment and saving you time, water, and money.” – The National Audubon Society

Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program.

Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.

How To Plant Audubon® Native Compass Plant

Compass Plant prefers deep, loamy soil that never gets extremely wet or extremely dry. It wants full sun. In excessively windy or wet years, this lofty grower may lean or even lodge (topple over). You can stake it if you feel a need to, but be sure to use very sturdy poles, as the stems become quite weighty on mature plants. (Maturity may take several years; Compass Plant is a slow grower that spends some time putting down a deep taproot.) Maintenance is otherwise simple. Leave the seeds for winter-resident birds, then cut the whole plant down in early spring.

How To Water

Water twice weekly for the first 3-5 weeks; then water weekly for the remainder of the year until winter. When you water, water very slowly and very thoroughly. The water needs to reach to the bottom of the root ball and that takes time. Watering needs may be altered due to extreme weather conditions.

How To Fertilize

Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late year. Continue this for three years to get your plant well established.

How To Prune

Each fall, just before winter sets in clean up the previous years foliage and compost it. Be sure your perennials are mulched well for winter protection. Two inches of an organic mulch will do the job. Consider leaving the plant debris in place through the winter and doing your clean up on the weather warms in the spring. While it doesn't make things neat and tidy, the debris provides overwintering protection for insects, their eggs and pupae including our native Viceroy butterfly.

Planting Zones

Hardiness Zone: 3-8

How Does Shipping Work?

Size Small (AAA), Medium (A2A), and Large (AA) plants (our Treelings, Shrubs, Bushes, and Perennials) will be shipped directly to your home by a common carrier. Ships in a plant-safe designed box within 5-7 business days.

Our Guarantees


Bower & Branch guarantees customer satisfaction within all product groups and sizes. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the product or experience, you have 90 days from the original date of purchase to request a replacement of the purchased product(s).


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- Phone: 866-873-3888

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